You are planning for your dream home construction. The stage is set to engage a builder - contractor who can construct the home in accordance with the floor plans, and specifications and drawings you received from your architect. As the buyer in this situation, you are solely liable for any additional material costs, incremental labor costs from design change requests, and other incidental overheads. How do you protect your cost factor while signing up the Civil Works Contract?
An Architect’s Advice Before You Signup
First of all, you have to understand the types of contracts that are available.
The Square Foot Basis Contract
Most people go with something called a "square foot basis" contract. This may seem simple and easy to execute however, this method is only about 70% accurate resulting in "cost escalations" and "misunderstandings" between the concerned parties.
A crude comparison would be approaching a car dealership and asking what is the cost of the car per kg? This is fine if there are no changes in the specifications, but if you do, then not all components are priced at an averaged cost.
In the same way, when you make changes to your building specifications, the resulting impact on cost is bound to send the budget spiraling upwards.
In such cases, to avoid misunderstandings, better to follow standard protocols such BOQ based contracts once your plans, elevation and specifications are finalized.
The BOQ Based Contracts
This method can be almost 95% accurate giving the owner a better control over his hard earned money. BOQ and its resultant bill verification is a very tedious process and hence there are very few architects / engineers offering these services. Paradoxically, those following this system generally points to the fact that they are more client - centric in their approach.
This is an accepted method in the civil industry with proper checks and controls and allows a fair deal to both the client as well as contractor. This is one of the most transparent methods available to help you realize your dream house.
Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Contractor
1. Itemize the bid
2. Is the bid an estimate or fixed price
3. Who are the main suppliers
Visit their current projects and have couple of meetings to ensure you get the best onsite team!